According to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office, efforts by public school supporters and the nonprofit, Save Our Schools, to stop the growth of the private school voucher system have been unsuccessful.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said via Twitter, “We have informed the SOS committee that the referendum will not qualify for the 2024 General Election Ballot.”
Arizona already has a voucher scheme but currently, students have to meet specific criteria or requirements to be eligible. On August 16th Governor Doug Ducey signed into law an expansion of that program. Under the expansion, every Arizona K-12 student will be able to use 90% of the state money they are entitled to, roughly $7,000, at a private institution.
Critics of the expansion say that vouchers siphon money away from public schools, especially in high-need areas. Opponents also argue that most of the people using the vouchers are already able to afford private schools. Proponents of the expansion say it makes access to private education more equitable and gives people more educational choices and options.
Save Our Schools was trying to block the expansion by gathering enough signatures to force it on the 2024 ballot in the form of a referendum. However, they fell short of the necessary signatures.